A Nazi Legacy: The Transgenerational Inheritance of Trauma, by Vamık D. Volkan

Depositing, Transgenerational Transmission, Dissociation  and Remembering through Action


As a psychoanalyst, I have been actively involved in international relations since 1979 and have visited many areas where wars and war-like situations existed just prior to my visits or even during my visits. I observed children with or without parents in such locations, places like South Ossetia and Kuwait. I also participated in projects designed to help children traumatized by wars or war-like conditions, and last year I was invited to a meeting in France to deliver a paper on the children of war with whom I had worked.

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David Gee explores the mental health issues of youth recruitment on ‘Armed Forces Day’

PTSD, Suicide, Alcoholism, Child Recruitment, and Violence: Aspects of Mental Health in today’s British Armed Forces

Although not all veterans are severely affected, a military career carries significant mental health risks, particularly at times of war when substantial numbers of psychiatric casualties are usual. Research from the last decade shows that certain mental health-related problems in the armed forces, particularly harmful alcohol use and post-deployment violent behaviour, are a serious problem. Those who have left the forces during the last decade show markedly higher rates of a number of mental health-related problems, particularly PTSD and harmful levels of drinking. These issues are of particular concern in relation to ‘Armed Forces Day’, which serves among other things as a recruitment opportunity for the armed forces. But what are the mental health implications for those who enlist, particularly the youngest recruits who are most vulnerable to these risks?

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John Espy uncovers the psychological ‘signature’ of the serial killer

Going beneath the skin of the contemporary fascination with serial killers: the Allure of Power, Control, Dominance


‘I hadn’t started out per se to ‘study’ serial murderers, now many years ago.  I was doing neurological research on the NASA Skylab and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project.  Increasingly I was becoming interested in neuropathology of primitive personalities.  In biochemistry we go to the molecular structure of a compound to see what its chemical signature is composed of.  What then was the signature of what may be the most primitive form of man; who represented man at his serially worst: A murderer who killed for seemingly pleasurable gain and who used power, control and dominance, as a way of torturing his victims before he murdered them.  In those days the term ‘serial killer’ was not yet in the public sector as it resides today nor did the idea of a serial killer carry the current voyeuristic allure.

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Sarah Benamer on why the narrative of trauma is ubiquitous in contemporary society

Trauma and Attachment

Gavin Newby describes the development of Neuropsychotherapy, a new and emerging discipline

Within the broader world of psychology and clinical psychology, neuropsychology has had a reputation for being overly academic and assessment-focussed. When I joined the profession over twenty years ago, we had our elegant models of cognitive function and dysfunction, and the neurologists and GPs could expect long and complex neuropsychological assessments from us, which pin-pointed areas of difficulty. However, a casual observer might rightly wonder aloud, ‘So what? How does this help the distressed patient and their family?’
Over the last twenty or so years, the expectation has rapidly grown that clinical neuropsychologists will produce programmes of cognitive rehabilitation and help people re-integrate into their lives and societies. Most clinical neuropsychologists have always recognised the emotional havoc caused by an acquired brain injury – such as stroke, tumour, or trauma – and will have tried to adapt models of psychotherapy to deal with it, such as cognitive behavioural and personal constructs therapy. But it is only in relatively recent times that the discipline of neuropsychotherapy has begun to emerge from the shadows in its own right.
Whilst recognised models and systems of psychological therapy – including psychodynamic psychotherapy and analytic therapies – are important contributors to the development of this new discipline, there are a range of workers (including in the UK) who have gone beyond merely adapting these approaches and have developed their own systems and modes of neuropsychotherapy.
Our new book, Practical Neuropsychological Rehabilitation in Acquired Brain Injury, features a key chapter given over entirely to the concepts, principles and practice of neuropsychotherapy with acquired brain injury. Within the chapter, the reader is taken on a comprehensive tour of how to adapt models of neuropsychotherapy, and is invited to consider a helpful generic model of psychotherapy for brain-injured patients. A single case is presented and a range of treatments proposed, which embraces cognitive behavioural, psychodynamic psychotherapy, family/systemic, narrative and cognitive analytic therapy.
We hope that our exciting new book will act as a staging post in the further development of neuropsychotherapy.